Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts (Jan. 17, 2021)

By Matt Noonan

Happy Sunday, everyone – I can use the word “happy” in front of what day it is, right?

Well, no matter what, I hope everyone is doing well while having a wonderful weekend. And of course, I do hope this post – well, more my weekly column, to be exact – finds everyone thinking optimistically because better days are ahead, I believe it.

Similar to last week’s Sunday Thoughts, I am going to share ten quick thoughts heading into what I hope will be a wonderful week for everyone.

So, without further ado, here is this week’s Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts!


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Thought No. 1: The Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers are the real deal. Yes, I know Ben Volin of the Boston Globe shared similar thoughts with his readers, but I think both teams could see each other early next week in Tampa, Florida to compete for the ultimate prize: the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Thought No. 2: Kudos to members of Bills Mafia, which performed a good deed last night after Lamar Jackson exited the game with what appeared to be a concussion. According to several outlets, following the conclusion of last night’s Buffalo-Baltimore Ravens game, members of Bills Mafia donated to Jackson’ favorite charity: Louisville’s chapter of Blessings in a Backpack. While its unknown how much money Buffalo fans donated, this is certainly an amazing story, as well as one of the many reasons why we ALL love sports, right?

Thought No. 3: I think the Cleveland Browns can beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Yep, I do. Cleveland has been a great story this season – they’re the underdog this afternoon – and it would be great to see Baker Mayfield and the Browns back in the conference title game for the first time since 1989.

Thought No. 4: Bold prediction: Tom Brady will throw three – maybe four? – touchdowns today and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will beat the New Orleans Saints in what will be Drew Brees‘ final contest in the National Football League (NFL).

Thought No. 5: Why does Cris Collinsworth always refer to a coach, player or someone within the NFL (or outside the league?) by starting his sentences with “here’s a guy?” Does anyone know?

Thought No. 6: Is it just me or was the 2020 college football season a disaster? I think this past fall was a horrible display of leadership, as well as a bad product. Sure, Alabama looked like world beaters compared to everyone else, but that was because of so many cancelations and postponements last summer and fall.

Thought No. 7: Cooper Manning, who is Peyton and Eli’s brother, called what appears to be his first high school basketball game last week. And he shared some unique thoughts on broadcasting – I think he also offered to give away a car, which seems like a strange thing to do at a high school game. But what do I know?

Thought No. 8: Sarah Fuller, who became the first female kicker to compete and score a point in a Power 5 college football game earlier this school year, will take part in Joe Biden‘s presidential inauguration this week. As noted in Pete Thamel‘s story on Yahoo! Sports, she considers this opportunity “an honor to be invited to participate in one of America’s great traditions.” Indeed, this is quite the honor for Fuller that I hope will continue to stay involved with football so she can continue to inspire more young women to pursue and accomplish their dreams, both on and off the field.

Thought No. 9: Call me crazy, but why are we playing high school sports during a pandemic? While the initial month of 2021 is far from over, it seems both this weekend (and the past few days) are an ideal time to crown high school football champions in both Michigan and Texas. Alright, good for them – yay, they finished their respective seasons – but maybe other states can do what Connecticut did and punt to next school year. Do the right thing and keep all the student-athletes safe and healthy.

Thought No. 10: I am a social media nerd and have really enjoyed following the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL), specifically their TikTok account. The content they have produced for TikTok is funny, which it should be. And I loved their recent video of waking up in the sunshine state: so peaceful.

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone! 

As usual, we hope everyone is doing well, staying safe – and healthy, too! – and having a great week thus far. 

Let’s get to the news, beginning with last night’s Monday Night Football (MNF) double-header, which kicked-off with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the New England Patriots, 26-10

With the win, Kansas City improves to 4-0 overall while New England dips to 2-2. Kansas City is one of six teams that remains unbeaten through the first quarter of the season – can they continue their winning ways later this week against the Las Vegas Raiders? We’ll have to wait and see! 

Staying with the National Football League (NFL), the league announced yesterday in a memo that if teams continue to not adhere to the current protocols in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, then they could lose a draft choice or even be forced to forfeit a game. The pandemic certainly through a wrench into the league’s plans last week with postponing a game to moving the Kansas City-New England contest from Sunday to Monday. 

Let’s switch gears to hockey where it appears the National Hockey League (NHL) and NHL Players’ Association is targeting a January 1, 2021 start date for the upcoming season

The NHL wrapped up its 2019-20 season last week with the Tampa Bay Lightning beating the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup. The game was played in a “bubble environment” in Canada. 

Apparently, the NHL would like to play an 82-game season, but we’ll have to wait and see if that actually happens. 

Are you watching playoff baseball? If not, maybe you should? 

According to AwfulAnnouncing.com, viewership for baseball this year has gone up, which is a good thing for America’s pastime.

And of course, here are some more news and links to share from the world wide web: 

  • Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini has been named to the WWE board. This is super-exciting news and perhaps this means we could see the wrestling league and Barstool Sports work together down the road for future shows and new content. 
  • Amazon will unveil some new features for its “Thursday Night Football” streaming package with upcoming games available on Prime Video and Twitch. 
  • Finally, the Sports Business Journal does not want you to worry about the NFL’s ratings – everything will be OK

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, September 29, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone – how is your week going thus far? 

Luckily, it is only the second day of the workweek so make sure to turn that frown upside down by reading (and enjoying) a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ from your friends here at Noontime Sports! 

The Mahomes-Jackson Rivalry is not a rivalry 

The third meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson concluded once again with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Baltimore Ravens

Mahomes outplayed Jackson last night, especially in the first half, by finishing the Monday Night Football (MNF) clash with four touchdown passes while completing 31 of 42 passes for 385 yards. Additionally, the third-year signal-caller rushed for 26 yards on four carries and one score. 

As for Jackson, he finished 15 of 28 for 97 yards and one touchdown. He rushed for 83 yards on nine carries but was sacked four times. 

While the game was billed as the next great rivalry – well, something along those lines – we are not sure if Mahomes-Jackson is a rivalry. They both have great respect for one another but are also somewhat different style quarterbacks. Mahomes is more of a passer while Jackson is a dual-threat – he can run and throw. 

As of now, it appears both teams are destined to meet each other in the AFC Championship game next January, but we’ll have to wait and see because there is still A LOT of football left to be played. 

Tampa Bay wins “the bubble” Stanley Cup 

The 2019-20 National Hockey League (NHL) season officially concluded last night in a “bubble” – that is how we play sports these days, right? – with the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Dallas Stars in the sixth game of the Stanley Cup. 

Tampa Bay beat Dallas by a score of 2-0 to capture its second championship in franchise history. Victor Hedman earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs – he led all defenders in the “bubble postseason” with 10 goals

The Lightning – and yes, the Stars, too – will now enjoy some downtime ahead of what should be a quick turnaround for the league, which hopes to begin its 2020-21 season either later this year in December or next January. 

Gary Bettman, who is the league’s commissioner, would like to have fans in the stands for the upcoming season, but knows that may not be possible due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

We’ll keep our eyes on the NHL as discussions for the upcoming season should begin today or at least some point this week. 

Welcome to the 16-team MLB Playoffs! 

Are you ready for a 16-team Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason

We are excited about this new format and believe this could be a great way for the league to retain more fans during the postseason, as well as get excited about a sport that has lacked interest over the past few years, especially here in Boston where our beloved Red Sox have not been fun to watch, both this year and last year. 

The 2020 MLB postseason begins today with four contests – we’ll be keeping our eyes on a few, including the Cleveland Indians taking on the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox against the Oakland Athletics

Daily Noontime (Monday, September 21, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Ah, the ‘Daily Noontime’ has officially returned – yay! 

Yes, that is correct, everyone. The ‘Daily Noontime’ is back and will be with you going forward every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 

Are you excited? 

The format will be somewhat the same – maybe we can mix in some new links, etc. – but this is a post that has significant meaning to our blog when we launched/got started with creating content in May 2009. 

So, let’s kick off a brand new day – and yes, a brand new week, too! – with the revamped ‘Daily Noontime.’ Have a great day, everyone! 

Russell Wilson shines against the New England Patriots  

Russell Wilson matched a career-high with five touchdown passes last night as the Seattle Seahawks topped the New England Patriots, 35-30. 

Wilson and the Seahawks improved to 2-0n while the Patriots dipped to 1-1. 

According to ESPN.com, Wilson “became only the fourth player in NFL history to throw at least four touchdown passes in each of his team’s first two games.” 

Cam Newton and the Patriots did keep pace with Wilson and the Hawks for a majority of the contest but could not convert the go-ahead/game-winning touchdown pass on their final drive of the contest. 

Seattle will host the Dallas Cowboys next week while the Patriots will entertain the Las Vegas Raiders

NFL Coaches, Personnel need to ‘Mask Up!’

According to ProFootballTalk.com (PFT), the National Football League (NFL) will be in contact today – not sure exactly when? – with coaches and sideline personnel regarding masks and face covers not being worn during contests

This is the second time PFT has blogged about this issue after seeing a slew of coaches – and yes, personnel, too – not cover their noses and mouths last week during the opening week of the 2020 season. 

Just a reminder to everyone … we are living in a pandemic, so make sure to mask-up! 

The Dallas Cowboys’ comeback was … incredible! 

Yes, our site’s editor and founder (Matt Noonan) is a life-long Dallas Cowboysfan, but for some reason, he didn’t worry too much when ‘America’s Team’ was trailing by 20 points. 

Really, Matt? 

But somehow, Noonan’s team – that would be the Dallas Cowboys – erased the deficit and stunned the Atlanta Falcons for an exciting 40-39 victory yesterday at AT&T Stadium

The win – not the prettiest – was VERY exciting and also proved that this Dallas Cowboys team has a lot more grit and toughness under first-year coach Mike McCarthy. Sorry, Jason Garrett!

Also, kudos to Greg Zuerlein for not just drilling the game-winning field goal, but also kicking the craziest onside kick that we have ever seen

And more links from the world-wide-web:

Stay tuned for more content later today, but as always, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, Noontime Sports Fans and Friends! 

Gov. Baker Paves The Way For Pro Sports To Return To Massachusetts

GilletteSocial

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker provided a glimmer of hope for live sports to return in the coming weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker clearly misses sports – we all know he is a proud supporter of our state’s hometown teams.

So on Friday, Baker announced that the state’s professional teams would be allowed to begin practicing as soon as Saturday, June 6. That is also the same date Massachusetts residents should learn more about the second phase of the state’s reopening plan, which would begin Monday, June 8.

“I know we still aren’t to the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet,” Baker said during Friday’s press briefing. “The leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. And I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.”

Professional sports have been idle since mid-March when the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) paused their respective seasons due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Since then, both leagues have been working diligently to find a way to restart their seasons safely in “hub cities.”

Major League Baseball (MLB) delayed the start of its 2020 season but continues to be stuck in neutral due to ongoing contract discussions between the players and owners.

Both Major League Soccer (MLS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have announced plans to return to the pitch in the coming weeks, which should excited local New England Revolution fans.

Baker believes live sports would certainly help all of us during this unprecedented time. Additionally, it would be a great outlet for many, who have been consuming older contests these past few weeks, including a 2007 playoff run by the Boston Red Sox on NESN.

“I think for all of us live sports, and especially pro sports would be a great thing to see again because not only will it be a significant milestone for those of us who are fans but it will also send a big signal that we’ve continued to do all the things that we need to do to contain and control the virus,” said Baker.